Monday, February 9, 2015

Sean Carroll and the 'Fine-Tuning' argument



This is Sean Carroll debating William Lane Craig, apparently in New Orleans last year. (Here's the full debate.)

2 comments:

Jim Harris said...

I'm a fan of Sean Carroll. He didn't bring up one of my arguments though. If God fined tuned the universe/multiverse, then how big is God? Where did he get his building materials? Is the universe/multiverse smaller than God - can he mold it in his hands, or is he like an architect, and it's a massive structure many times his size? Is God inside or outside of his creation? If he fined tuned this reality, it sounds like he must be outside, which might suggest God would have to be immensely big.

WCG said...

Christians usually claim that their god is outside of time and space, thus he wouldn't have any size, I suppose (though he usually seems man-sized in the Old Testament).

Of course, we don't know how anything could be said to 'exist' outside of time and space, and how could anything think, let alone act, without time? However, it's your question about building materials which seems especially important to me.

Apologists who use the cosmological argument insist that everything has a cause (except their 'God,' of course, which immediately invalidates their premise), therefore the universe must have had a cause. There are a lot of problems with that, including confusing two different meanings of 'universe' (meaning 'everything,' or just our universe, which may or may not be everything) and the fact that causation requires time.

But to me, the big problem is that they're confusing the creation of an object by just rearranging other material (like a woodworker creates a chair) with magically... poofing something out of nothing.

As they do with 'universe,' they're confusing two different meanings of 'cause' or 'creation.' And they're doing that deliberately. They don't actually have an argument, so they're using the imprecision of language to make it seem as if they do.

If their god didn't have building materials, that's like no other example of physical 'creation' we've ever seen. A painting might require a painter, and a watch might be evidence of a watchmaker, but neither of those is anything like what Christian apologists are actually claiming for their own 'Creator.'

A painter makes a painting out of already-existing canvas and paint. A watchmaker makes a watch out of already-existing material. If 'God' made the universe out of already-existing stuff, then where did that stuff come from? And if he made it out of nothing, then it's not 'creation' as we know it, and comparing 'God' to a watchmaker is completely invalid.